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Mol Reprod Dev. 2017 Jan;84(1):76-87. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22755. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

bmp15l, figla, smc1bl, and larp6l are preferentially expressed in germ cells in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).

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Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway.
Recherches Avicoles, Nouzilly, France.


Atlantic salmon is a valuable commercial aquaculture species that would benefit economically and environmentally by controlling precocious puberty and preventing escapees from reproducing with wild populations. One solution to both these challenges is the production of sterile individuals by inhibiting the formation of germ cells, but achieving this requires more information on the specific factors that control germ cell formation. Here, we identified and characterized novel factors that are preferentially expressed in Atlantic salmon germ cells by screening for gonad-specific genes using available adult multi-tissue transcriptomes. We excluded genes with expression in tissues other than gonads based on quantity of reads, and then a subset of genes was selected for verification in a multi-tissue PCR screen. Four gonad-specific genes (bmp15l, figla, smc1bl, and larp6l) were chosen for further characterization, namely: germ cell specificity, investigated by comparing mRNA abundance in wild-type and germ cell-free gonads by quantitative real-time PCR, and cellular location, visualized by in situ hybridization. All four genes were expressed in both testis and ovary, and preferentially within the germ cells of both sexes. These genes may be essential players in salmon germ cell development, and could be important for future studies aiming to understand and control reproduction. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 76-87, 2017.

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